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Prospero
10-23-2008, 05:21 PM
Hello everyone,

It's been a while since my last post. I have been really busy the last two months. My study and job have taken up a lot of time and I'm also in charge of making the yearbook at my student club, so I had hardly any time to spend posting here. I did take lots of pictures, though. I shot some pictures at the wedding party of my nephew. They hired a pro for the ceremony and formals, but asked me to shoot the party. I may post some pictures I took in the POTD thread.

Also, I took lots and lots of pictures at all the parties that were organized at the beginning of the academic year and lots of other activities that were organized at my student club.

Anyway, until yesterday I had no time to shoot any landscapes. So, when I had some free time yesterday and the weather was nice, I decided to take some pictures in the park near to my house. Here are some of the pictures I took:

#1:
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#2:
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#3:
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#4:
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#5:
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#6:
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All except no. 4 are HDRs. The last two are with the 10-20, the others with the 17-70. I took these using my new tripod, the Manfrotto 190 XBPro with a 488RC4 ball head. Compared to my old tripod, a ancient velbon one, this one is just so much better. It's a lot more steady and the ball head is very easy to adjust. Also, I love the quick release plate. I should have gotten a good tripod a lot earlier.

Anyway, from now on I'll be shooting my HDRs from a tripod when I can, because results are quite a lot sharper (although that is not as clear on these small pictures) and a lot easier to put together. Also, there is a lot less noise, because now I can actually use the longest exposure. The longest exposure was often blurred because it was too hard to handhold and my tripod was unsteady. I used to get that exposure by raising the mid exposure two stops.

Anyway, thanks for watching these pictures. I hope you enjoyed them. C&C is as always welcome and much appreciated.

Cheers,

Dennis

Actaeon
10-23-2008, 05:59 PM
Beautiful!

Dread Pirate Roberts
10-23-2008, 08:29 PM
Nice shots, good to have you back posting.
No 5 really hit me, beaut reflection.

Camerajunkie
10-23-2008, 08:58 PM
I love number 1. Wow.

toriaj
10-23-2008, 09:49 PM
Hi Dennis, it's good to see you back. Glad you got the tripod, I'm sure you'll really use it. Did you get a bag for it yet? I got a bag for my new tripod that is too big ... :rolleyes: Anyway, glad to see your shots, I like the lighting on the grass in #2.

herc182
10-24-2008, 01:50 AM
Great pictures Dennis. You can definitely see the sharpness come through. What PP did you do for sharpening?

I love the backlighting of the grass on number 2 and number 5 is my favourite for sure. Amazing reflection and fantastic lighting.

Good to see you back!

Prospero
10-24-2008, 03:41 AM
Thanks for the comments, everyone. I'm glad you like the pictures.

Tori, I did not get a bag for my tripod yet, but am definitly planning to get one. Cycling around while holding the tripod isn't very comfortable. I think I'll just take my tripod to the store to make sure I get a bag with the right size :)

Phil, I always use an unsharp mask (strength 70, radius 0.7, threshold 0) after resizing, to recover details lost while resizing. The first three pictures were sharpened a bit more using Neatimage. This program gets rid of the noise in the shadows, but is also quite good in sharpening the right parts of the picture.

rawpaw18
10-24-2008, 03:55 AM
Put me in the number 2 photo fan club,
missed having you around Dennis.

ssil2000
10-24-2008, 06:50 AM
good to have you back mate great set!

faisal
10-24-2008, 07:33 AM
love the reflections in those shots....#5 is my favourite...

Phill D
10-24-2008, 01:22 PM
Yep it's nos 2 & 5 for me too. How did you get the grass to show up like that it's very striking.

Prospero
10-24-2008, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the comments. I'm glad you like the images.

About the second image:
It's a HDR made of four different images. The dynamic range of the scene was quite large, because it was about 15-20 minutes before the actual sunset. One part of the grass/leaves was backlit by the sun shining throuth the trees while other parts were in the shade (this explains the different shades of green). I set up the tripod quite close to the ground, so the grass would be in the foreground of the picture.

I took three shots using bracketing. To keep the colour in the sky, the darkest shot was quite severly underexposed. Due to this and the high dynamic range of the shot I had to boost the exposure of the brightest shot with two f-stops, to get more shadow detail in the result. This shot looked as follows:

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Blending this with the other shots using Photomatix (Tone Compression)gave the following result:

41316

I saved it as a 16-bit tiff (to get more flexibility for further editting) and then openened it in Capture NX. In Capture NX I brightened the shadows, used curves to get the overal contrast right and then used 15-20 colour control points to get the details the way I wanted them. I usually use these things to boost the contrast of certain details or to change brightness of certain parts of the image.
Finally I reduced the noise in the image using Neatimage and sharpened it a little.